Obuse is a town that has been visited by many culturally important figures over the years. Because of this, there are many places where you can learn a lot about history and the arts. The town has abundant nature, with the Hokushin Gokaku mountain range to the east, and to the west the Chikuma River.
Obuse is in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture. The sightseeing area spreads from the center of the town, around Obuse Station, to about an hour’s walk away out of town. If you want to enjoy the whole area efficiently, it is good to make use of the Obuse Roman-Go tour bus.
Things to See and Activities to do in Obuse
Obuse is filled with traditional Japanese streets, and there are many privately-owned open gardens, so really, the whole town is a sightseeing spot. There are also many temples, shrines, and museums, of course.
The Ganshoin Temple Ceiling: Katsushika Hokusai’s Work in Obuse
Ganshoin Temple is a historic temple that was built over 500 years ago. It is famous because many prominent poets, artists, and other cultural figures were centred around the temple. The most worthy of note is the “Happo Nirami Hououzu”, painted on the ceiling of the main hall. Painted by renowned artist Katsushika Hokusai at the end of his life, it is a colourful painting whose eyes seem to follow you around the room.
Visiting Natural History and Art Museums
There are various types of natural history and art museums in Obuse. For example, museums focusing on paintings, lamps, tea utensils, old pottery, and so on. Among these are artworks that have been on display since the 1850s, so you can really experience the change in Japanese art over the years. Most of the art museums are located near Obuse Station, so it would be fun to visit a few of them.
Food and Restaurants in Obuse
There are several food items that bear the Obuse name, such as the Obuse Chestnut and the Obuse Round Eggplant. It is also famous for fruit, such as apples and grapes, and for its buckwheat noodles. The Obuse Chestnut has an especially long history, having been cultivated since about 600 years ago, and it is used in many popular sweets and other dishes such as chestnut steamed rice. You can try these famous treats in some of the shops near Obuse Station.
Hotels, Inns, and Ryokan in Obuse
There aren’t many places to stay in Obuse, and they’re all rather small. All of the hotels and inns are located on the eastern side of Obuse Station and are perfectly located for sightseeing. If you go a little further from the station, there is also an inn where you can use Obuse’s only hot spring, named "Obuse Onsen".
Access to Obuse
Of you want to visit Obuse, head to Obuse Station. It’s about 34 minutes on the Nagano Railway from Nagano Station. There are many express trains and bullet trains to get you from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, etc. to Nagano Station.
- Spot name：Obuse (Obuse Station)
- Street address：〒381-0201 1497-2, Kamitakai-gun, Obuse-machi, Ooaza-Obuse
- Access： About 34 minutes from Nagano Station by Nagano Railway
- Wi-Fi：Available（OBUSE_Free_Wi-Fi, OBUSE Free Wi-Fi Base）
- Language：English, Chinese, Korean (Guidebook)
- Ticket Purchase：At stations
- Credit cards：VISA, MasterCard, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, Diners Club International